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NEWS & ANALYSIS

Twitter Allows Racist Tim Scott Insult to Trend Overnight


After republican South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott gave his rebuttal speech to a joint session of Congress Wednesday, the hashtag “Uncle Tim” trended on Twitter. 

What’s worse, though it violates the platform’s policies, they left it trending through the night. 

According to Twitter’s policy on trends, a topic may be removed if it violates the platform’s rules. One of those rules is the “hateful conduct policy.” 

“You may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, caste, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease,” the policy states. “You also may not use your username, display name, or profile bio to engage in abusive behavior, such as targeted harassment or expressing hate toward a person, group or protected category.” 

“Uncle Tim” is a sneaky reference to the term “Uncle Tom,” a derogatory and racist reference to black people who are seen as subservient to white people, as reported by the Daily Caller

A Twitter spokesperson said they were blocking the trend. 

“I can confirm that we are blocking the phrase you referenced from appearing in trends,” the spokesperson said. “This is in line with our policies on trends, specifically: ‘We want trends to promote healthy conversations on Twitter. This means that at times, we may not allow or may temporarily prevent content from appearing in trends until more context is available.’” 

But, to no surprise, “Uncle Tim” was trending on Twitter for simply too long without any action. 

Scott responded to the situation on Fox News Thursday morning. 

“What they want for us is for us to stay in a little small corner and not go against the tide they think is America,” Scott said. “Their America and my America aren’t the same America if, in fact, they think that discriminating is the fastest way to end discrimination.” 

“If you want to be an American, the door’s wide open – the front door, by the way – is wide open to come in and add value to who we are, to not be part of destructive conversations that belittle individuals,” he added. “I will agree with the vice president on one thing. The internal struggle we see in our nation oftentimes led by the left is a problem, a problem we can solve together. The American family is bigger than that, we should act like it.”